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The Return Of E-Mail Phishing!

Amanda Bar

Having recently been a target for an e-mail phishing scam, I hardly suspected to find yet another attempt at account fraud in my inbox.  This time, however, they targeted something rather unusual: my World of Warcraft account.

It has come to our attention that you are trying to sell/trade your personal World of Warcraft account(s).
As you may or may not be aware of, this conflicts with the EULA and Terms of Agreement.
If this proves to be true, your account can and will be disabled. It will be ongoing for further investigation by Blizzard Entertainment's employees.
If you wish to not get your account suspended you should immediately verify your account ownership. If the information is deemed accurate, the investigation will be dropped.
This is easiest done by confirming your personal information along with concealed information about your account.
You can confirm that you are the original owner of the account by replying to this email...
If you ignore this mail your account can and will be closed permanently.

[Quick set-up for those of you unawares, World of Warcraft is an online roleplaying game that is played by millions of people across the world (for a small, monthly subscription fee).] 

Now obviously these scammers don't do enough homework on their ends because my WoW account has been closed for almost a year (of my own free will, thank you very much), but I can imagine what the threat of disabling your account could do to a current Warcraft player.  According to some articles I was able to dig up online, apparently this sort of phishing ploy has been on the rise since early 2009.  Unlike the PayPal scam I experienced, however, I'm not quite sure what the intended goal was for the scammers in question.  I suppose with the information given they could attempt to sell the account themselves on eBay, but that scheme seems rather dubious considering Blizzard's strict watch over such activities (not to mention eBay's cooperation in restricting these kind of sales).  Who knows what they could have been thinking?  Perhaps they simply wanted to hijack an account for their own amusement.

Like with my previous e-mail phishing experience, I was able to spot this as a scan through 1) complete lack of links back to the Warcraft account homepage, 2) request for personal account information via e-mail, and 3) dubious sentence structure.  That last point may seem silly to you, but when most of these form e-mails are written up by lawyers & reviewed by upper-management you wouldn't expect odd word placement and fragmented sentences.  And as always: when in doubt, Google!  Through one search query I came across numerous other people who were questioning the validity of similar (if not identical) e-mails.

Posted by Amanda Conwell at 08:37 PM on September 27, 2009 in Entertainment | Permalink | Facebook | Digg | del.icio.us | AIM


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